I read a good article about Michelle Obama over the weekend. The story talked about the control she maintains over her image and why this is important to her and for her role as the first lady. On the March cover of Vogue magazine, you will see here wearing another sleeveless number that she was in charge of picking out for this cover shoot. Unlike her last two predecessors, she did not let Vogue dress her, she dressed herself. I already like her a lot just based on that one fact!
This story alone tells you a lot about who she is, how she works, and what she represents. A strong, assertive woman who is in charge of her own role as first lady, and who is not afraid to follow her own instincts about the best way to present herself to the country.
The article goes on to explain other aspects how Michelle tackles this challenge so there is no need for me to repeat them here. I simply want to make another point today about the importance of your own personal brand. Whether it be for the you are marketing services as a personal trainer and fitness business, or trying to advance your career as a fitness professional, establishing, maintaining, and continuing to develop your own personal brand is paramount to your success. And it's a lot of work so please pay attention. It is no longer enough to post your resume online and hope for the best. It never was, but what I'm talking about here takes this idea to the next level. Especially in a job market as tight as this one, your presence both online and off must be crafted with forthought, originality, creativity, heart, passion and kept up to date and added to constantly.
Can you say that you know what I'm talking about and that you are following through on this process? If the answer is no to either of these questions, it's time to get to work on your personal brand. And before you disregard this advice because you don't really understand it or are uncomfortable thinking of yourself as an actual brand, consider this passage from the New York Times article:
"By focusing on her domestic persona and harnessing the fascination with her family, the first lady and her communications team have emerged as the key architects of one of the most remarkable political transformations in years. Only 10 months ago, Mrs. Obama was described as an angry black woman by some conservatives and as a liability to her husband. Now, she is widely admired for her warmth, and her vibrant and accessible manner, and her race seems almost an afterthought to many Americans. She has the highest favorability ratings of any incoming first lady since 1980, and is even more popular than the president."
"Obama administration officials say this shift has occurred organically as more people have had the opportunity to see and hear the first lady for themselves rather than through the lenses of her critics."
Now yes, Mrs. Obama has a team of people working for her to help create the result, but she is in charge of all of them, and you are in charge of you. Which in turn means that you are also in charge of your personal brand and how it is created, by you or by others, because it will happen so you better be in charge of it.
The last sentence of the text from the snippet above is very important. Once Mrs. Obama had a chance to allow people to get to know her, she became even more popular than the president!
How popular could you be with clients, prospects, and employers, if you took some time to create a personal brand that is always working for you?
Look for more articles on this subject coming soon. It's an important topic for all of us...